LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – A temporary mask mandate went into effect on Monday at Longview ISD.

According to a press release from LISD, all students, staff and visitors must wear face coverings at district facilities.

“At Longview ISD, wearing a mask is a matter of respecting other people’s well-being and respecting each other’s safety. This is why our priority is the health and safety of our students, employees, and community,” said Longview ISD.

Known cases of COVID-19 among Longview ISD students and staff are currently higher than they were last year and positive cases are emerging “at alarming rates”, the press release said. As of 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20 there are 28 active student cases (0.35%) and 38 active employee cases (1.52%) of COVID-19 in Longview ISD.

“The safety of our students and staff is our first priority. So, to help mitigate the spread in our district as successfully as we did during the 2020-21 school year, a mask mandate is necessary at this time. The combination of face covering, handwashing, and social distancing is proven to reduce the spread, and our hope is that the same measures will render positive results this year.”

Statement from Longview ISD

According to the press release, all COVID-related protocols are subject to change as directives are given by governing authorities and/or health officials or as circumstances evolve.

LISD plans to keep people updated through information on their website, social media and through all-calls and emails.

Gov. Greg Abbott has put out a ban on school districts implementing mask mandates. The Texas Education Agency said the ban will not be enforced  “as the result of ongoing litigation,” and that “further guidance will be made available after the court issues are resolved.”

The updated guidance comes after 14 children and their families filed federal lawsuits against the governor and TEA alleging the ban puts kids with disabilities at significant risk.